Tuesday Tip: Learn from those who win (in search engine rankings, that is)

By Chloe Mark | November 2016

It's election day – a day we learn whose effort paid off and who was ultimately not as successful. Although we aren't nominating bloggers today, we can learn from those whose efforts have worked. Tuesday's tip: learn from the 105 most popular blogs.


Ahrefs gathered a list of the 105 most successful blogs in terms of organic search traffic. Michael Pozdnev took this list and broke down how these companies and bloggers made it there. Read Michael's full post on iwannabeablogger.com, but for a short recap, review my favorite tips below.

Use keyword research:

It's okay to have some posts that don't revolve around keywords. Those posts covering company culture or recapping a recent event don't necessary need to rank in organic results. However, for posts where you're investing a lot of time into researching your topic, you should spend time researching if your keywords will even rank first. Michael recommends Ahrefs as a tool for keyword research (even though it's a bit of a financial investment). ArcStone also has some tools and techniques we recommend to keep your keyword strategy up-to-date.

Check some basic numbers:

There are several factors that contribute to your blog's ranking. These numbers shouldn't be your primary focus, but it is good to be sure these are going in your favor rather than against you. 

  • Number of backlinks
  • Page load time (according to iwannabeablogger, avg. is 2.17 sec.)
  • Number of words in each post (according to iwannabeablogger, avg. is 4,772)
  • Title tag length (according to iwannabeablogger, avg. is 60 characters)

Be realistic about your SEO strategy:

A problem many of us run into with SEO is our high hopes. We think that just because we chose a strong keyword phrase and wrote a good blog, we are in the rankings to make it to the top 10 search results. Once you pick your long-tail keyword, analyze your competitors who are already ranking for that. If they have a higher domain authority and many more backlinks, you may want to find a more specific keyword that's less competitive.

The goal is to have a high-volume search term or question, and a relatively low amount of competitors writing on that subject. 

Want more blogging and SEO resources? 

Topics: Tips and Tricks

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